Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City – Match Preview

Blackburn will look to pounce and steal all three points from turmoil stricken Manchester City who will have to shake off the Carlos Tevez saga when they travel to Ewood Park on Saturday.

The Argentine’s refusal to come on during Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League loss at Bayern Munich made all the headlines this week. A suspension and ferocious backlash from fans, journalists and players followed and there is the worry that it may have unsettled the players going into Rovers game. Roberto Mancini is arguably facing his biggest test as boss at the Etihad Stadium with the club currently fighting for trophies on three fronts coupled with the Tevez putting a truckload of pressure on the Italian. He will be relieved he’s facing a side who have been victorious only once this season and will be looking at his new South American poster boy Sergio Aguero to inspire make it five wins from six and consolidate the clubs best to start to a season in the Premier League. They are unbeaten in their last seven games against Rovers and haven’t tasted defeat against Steve Kean’s side since 2007. Adam Johnson is the only injury concern for Mancini who could have Nigel de Jong back on the bench.

Kean will be hoping his players can take advantage of distractions in the City camp caused by Tevez as they look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Newcastle. Rovers were played off the park by the Magpies and Kean was severely disappointed with his players considering their last home game saw them produce a memorable comeback to beat Arsenal 4-3. Christopher Samba and Scott Dann were exposed time and time again in defence and they’ll need to be stronger if they are to withstand the intense attacking qualities possessed by City. Kean will be without Martin Olsson after he was sent off at St James Park whilst Michel Salgado is an injury doubt. Gael Givet should be fit enough to take part after picking up a knock last week.

Key Players

David Hoilett – The Canadian grabbed Rovers’ solitary goal on Tyneside last week and was one of the better performers in the 3-1 defeat. His pace and trickery up against Gael Clichy will make for an interesting tussle and the winger will fancy his chances against the Frenchman.

Vincent Kompany – Stability and focus on the field is needed in the wake of the Tevez saga and City skipper Kompany will need to rally his troops into getting the job done against Rovers. The Belgian has been as imperious as ever and he’ll be key to stopping the home side from getting near Joe Harts goal.

Verdict: 0-2

  • Between Kompany and Lescott, they have committed only 13 fouls in the Barclays Premier League this season, an average of one foul every 44minutes 5seconds for the partnership
  • Kompany has won each of the 13 tackles he has entered in to this season while Lescott also has a 100% tackling record, having won the five he has made
  • Canadian David Hoilett is the Blackburn Rovers player currently ranked highest on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, climbing 28 places this week to sit in 52nd place
  • Hoilett has three assists for Rovers this season, behind only Ashley Young of Manchester United who has six, and the Manchester City duo of David Silva and Samir Nasri with four assists each

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